What is Brake Assist?

Brake aid is an active vehicle safety feature designed to help drivers come to a stop more quickly during an episode of emergency braking. Studies show that when making emergency stops, about half of all drive00 – 1200 wordrs don’t press the brake fast enough or hard enough to make full use of their vehicle’s braking power (NHTSA 2010; Page et al. 2005). Brake assist is intended to recognize the tell-tale signs of emergency Auto Services Edmonton braking and provide drivers with additional brake support.

Brake assist is called by other names such as Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Predictive Brake Assist (PBA). The different names are important because though all brake assist systems have the same purpose, some are designed differently.

When would brake assist be useful?

Brake aid is useful whenever drivers must brake hard to generate an emergency stop. Brake assist usually works in combination with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to make flying as successful as possible while preventing wheel lockage. There are plenty of relatively common situations that prompt heavy braking:

-A fisherman loses her automobile safety balance and veers sharply in front of your vehicle.

-A large animal runs out to the street, forcing you to make an emergency stop.

-Cresting a hill, you encounter an unexpected line-up of automobiles and you must brake hard to prevent rear-ending another driver.

How does brake assist work?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, brake assist systems fall into two general classes: electronic and mechanical. The principal difference between the two is in the method used to distinguish panic braking from regular braking.

Electronic brake assist Edmonton Auto Repair systems use an electronic control unit (ECU) that contrasts cases of braking to pre-set thresholds. If a driver pushes the brake down hard enough and fast enough to surpass this threshold, the ECU will determine that there is an emergency and boosts braking power. A number of these systems are adaptable, which means they will compile information about a driver’s particular braking style and tweak the thresholds to ensure the highest precision in emergency-situation detection. Modern drive-by-wire vehicles (i.e., vehicles with an ECU) are eligible to have electronic brake assist installed.

Older vehicles that don’t have an ECU may have a mechanical brake assist system put in. Mechanical systems also use pre-set thresholds, but these are put mechanically. This means they are not adaptable to individual drivers. These systems incorporate a locking mechanism that activates when the valve stroke — which is directly related to how far the brake pedal is pushed — moves a critical point. Once this threshold is passed, the locking mechanism switches the source of braking power from the brake piston valve to the brake booster, which provides the braking assistance.

How effective is brake assist?

The expected benefits of brake assist are many, especially given the kinds of situations autobody saskatoon that brake assist is intended to address. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States has determined that the kinds of crashes relevant to brake assist are those in which the driver saw a hazard, braked, but did not stop in time. Given this, the IIHS estimates that brake assist is relevant to 417,000 crashes annually in the United States, such as 3,080 fatal crashes.

Other studies also support brake help’s efficacy for preventing and reducing the severity of certain types of vehicle crashes. For instance, NHTSA found a reduced stopped distance of up to ten feet when brake help engaged during an emergency stop. Moreover, researchers from France estimate that brake help would reduce injuries in 11% of all crashes, and reduce the whole number of road fatalities by between 6.5% and 9%.

Does brake help have any limitations?

Yes. As with other vehicle safety technologies, getting the most out of brake assist requires that motorists understand its purpose and limitations. Both electronic and mechanical brake assist systems trigger only on the basis of a driver’s braking controls. If the signs of panic braking are there, brake help will engage to provide stopping support. However, inappropriate, unclear, or delayed braking actions could lead to brake help either not activating whatsoever or failing to provide all available support.

The first point to consider is that brake aid has no way of seeing obstacles ahead: it can’t scan for potential hazards and doesn’t warn drivers of any threat. As such, drivers must continue to be cautious by paying careful attention to the street and avoid behavior that could make identifying and reacting to obstacles more difficult, like speeding, impaired driving, fatigued driving, and distracted driving.

Also, drivers must be aware that the pre-set thresholds in both electronic and mechanical brake-assist systems where they recognize panic braking are set deliberately high. This is to make sure that brake assist does not participate when it’s not needed. However, many drivers are not used to applying the brakes hard enough and fast enough to exceed these thresholds and activate brake assist (NHTSA 2010). To get the most out of brake assist, drivers must use the brakes forcefully and decisively as soon as they realize an emergency stop is required.

How common is brake help in today’s vehicles?

Brake aid was first introduced in high-end European vehicles in 1996. Since then, brake assist has become remarkably common in Europe and Australia where it is available as either standard or optional on the majority of new vehicles. In North America, brake help was slower to reach the economy vehicle marketplace. But is now more commonly available within a safety package, and some manufacturers offer brake assist as a standard attribute.